the speech

Speech is protected by the First Amendment and now celebrated during NMU’s United Conference. “The Speech” is a contest where NMU students deliver a five to seven-minute persuasive speech on a topic of their choosing. Successful speeches will not only engage the audience but offer evidence of evaluating different perspectives on how to solve a particular problem at NMU, in our community, state, country and beyond. This is not a rant. It is a chance to apply well-sourced evidence, sound logic and dynamic oral presentation skills to highlight an issue of great concern in a civil manner (Think TED Talks).


1st  Prize        $200 

2nd Prize        $150 

3rd Prize         $100 


To enter, record a video of your speech, upload it to YouTube, and submit your link via email to by 5 pm on March 1st at. Below is the rubric for how the speeches will be judged. 

Finalists will be required to present their speech before a live audience on Wednesday, March 20th from 7-9 pm at the Black Box Theatre as part of the United Conference. The finalists will have an opportunity to present their speeches during the conference on March 21st.